Racehorse writers/Reluctant writers

I ran across my daughter’s second grade journal today and began to panic a little. My son, nearing the end of first grade, is nowhere near the skills shown by my daughter’s writing, even at the beginning of her second grade year. I know that it can be folly to compare children but it did spur me on today to search for ways to encourage writing fluency in my son.

I really should be encouraged by the fact that he no longer grips the pencil in a tight fist. And that he is a better reader at this age than his sister was. But writing?? He’d rather go to the dentist and get his teeth filled. Much of this has to do with a little perfectionist tendency that has surfaced in him. He hates to guess at the spelling of a word, lest he be wrong!! How different this is from his sister, who can write like a racehorse, but can’t even spell her own name. (I’m not kidding…in the midst of furious writing, she has been known to misspell her name…multiple times.) Like immersing yourself in a Shakespeare play, it takes me awhile to understand her own “alternately-spelled” language, but once I get it, it all makes sense. And the stories are riveting.

I have to admit, it’s hard to look at my son writing. It still looks painfully awkward. I can see why he wants to wriggle, and shake his hands in frustration, and whine and complain. Because of this, I realized today I have been reluctant to make him write as much as he should. He never minds dictating a story to me, but to write one himself…??

I found this website and I’m going to give it a whirl: WritingFix: Word and writing games for young writers
I have also determined to suffer through a journal time every morning, no matter how much I want to stop.

It’s funny to see bits of my own writing habits in both of my school-age children. As a young child I had terrible handwriting…consistent C’s and D’s, but boy, could I spin a story!  With near perfect spelling, too!.  But what went on before I began the story?  Whining by me, cajoling/threats by the adults.  I have always had a love/hate relationship with writing.  It’s dreadful to get me started, yet I am constantly writing in my head and can’t stop.  Once it’s out…I love it again.  Strange.


Filed under Babies & Kids, Homeschooling, Words and Writing

3 responses to “Racehorse writers/Reluctant writers

  1. Nita

    I for one am glad you got started! I am looking into a program called Writing Strands – have you heard of it? It was recommended by the curriculum we use – My Father’s World (which I love so I have hopes for the writing program they recommend) – my own dd can not write nor spell but she draws books. We have the three ring binders full to prove it! It’s funny as a parent you have to MAKE your children do the things you know are good for them . . . I always wonder how similar the relationship is to mine with the Lord.

  2. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bravewritermoms/

    This is another site suggested to me…it looks good and I am going to sign up for the daily notes for a while to see what it is like.

    I use Writing Strands but it assumes a certain skill level that my son does not yet have. I have set aside his book until next year. My daughter doesn’t really like WS but that is only because it forces her to slow down and focus on some skills/creativity she may not want to concentrate on. I believe that when my son “graduates” to the first book, it will really help him to become a writer.

  3. Jen

    Can you work on your pathetic friend’s writing too? Maybe teach us at the same time???? I’d better check out those websites…

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